Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 Favorites (So Far)

Is there a sadder marquee than that? I think not. Still, with 20+ days left in 2009 and several movies yet to see, here are my picks for my favorite movies of 2009, so far. Remember, these may not be the best movies of the year, but they are simply my favorites of 2009. I haven't seen everything (I don't get free passes or advance screenings, and I certainly can't afford to see everything, as much I'd like to). And while one or two may still get bumped from my final Top Ten come this January, they are the 8 movies I enjoyed most this year.

You can argue, trash, agree or disagree. I don't care (and my feelings aren't easily hurt).

Coming in at Number 8: Coraline

Henry Selig's stop-motion version of Neil Gaiman's tale about a little girl who stumbles upon an alternate world that isn't quite as perfect as it seems was delightfully dark and creepy. A joy for Stop-Motion fans, Gaiman fans and Selig fans alike. Pure fun.

Number 7: Watchmen

Zach Snyder's version of the supposedly "unfilmable" graphic novel may not be the best Superhero movie ever made, but it's striking visuals and grim tone make it the best anti-superhero movie ever made.

Number 6: Zombieland

Hilarious performances, cracker-jack writing and that amazing Bill Murray cameo all combined to make Zombieland the funniest zombie movie since Shaun of the Dead (even if the evil you-know-whats scared the crap out my dear D).

Number 5: Star Trek

JJ Abrams' re-boot of the classic franchise was original, reverent, exciting and a whole lotta fun. Perfectly cast and using state-of-the-art special effects, Star Trek may the second most fun movie I saw last summer. And personally, I can't wait for Abrams' follow-up.

Number 4: Trick 'r Treat

Michael Dougherty's long-delayed festival fave anthology is everything you could want from a Halloween movie: Scary, funny, original and creepy, Trick 'r Treat went Direct to DVD, but deserved a theatrical release. I hope Dougherty's planned follow-up gets the big-screen wide release it should.

Number 3: District 9

Neill Blomkamp's feature debut is not just a Science Fiction tale about aliens, but rather a story about Mankind's Inhumanity. Striking, disturbing and brilliant, District 9 is one of those movies that stay with you long after you've seen it. Brilliant.

Number 2: Drag Me To Hell

Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man; The Evil Dead Trilogy) makes a triumphant return to horror with this tale about a bank employee cursed by a gypsy. I saw this film with the cast of my summer show and we spent the entire film screaming and jumping into each other's arms. Absolutely the most fun time I've spent in a movie theatre in a long, long time.

Number 1: Moon

Duncan Jones' feature debut is a provocative and insightful story that hearkens back to 70's Sci-Fi like Silent Running and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Am Oscar-worthy performance by Sam Rockwell is just the start of this intelligent, quiet picture about an astronuat/miner spending his days counting down to the time when he gets to return to his home and family, only to discover that his whole life may well be a lie. Simply brilliant.

Look for my full Top Ten of 2009 in January, when I've had a chance to see all the amazing films that December has to promise. I'm still looking forward to seeing Up In the Air; The Princess and the Frog; Avatar; Nine; It's Complicated; A Single Man; Sherlock Holmes and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. That's a lot of movies to see in three weeks, but I think I can do it. And I hope that I get to see most of them with most of my usual suspects...

And what are your favorite movies of the past year? My Least Favorites coming up soon.

More, anon.

No comments: